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Cablegate: Southeast Turkey Press Summary for June 26, 2007

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PINS PGOV PHUM TU
SUBJECT: SOUTHEAST TURKEY PRESS SUMMARY FOR JUNE 26, 2007


1. This is the Southeastern Turkey press summary for June 26,
2007. Please note that Turkish press reports often contain
errors or exaggerations; AmConsulate Adana does not vouch for
the accuracy of the reports summarized here.

POLITICAL:

2. SABAH (GUNEY) / BOLGE: Kursat Tuzmen, state minister and
Mersin's candidate from AKP met with businessmen engaged in
transportation business in Mersin. He called them hidden heroes
of society, and said he understood very well the problems and
hardships involved in the transportation business and the risks
undertaken in foreign countries by shippers. Meanwhile, Bolge
daily reports Adana people's angesr over Kursat Tuzmen's and
Omer Celik's (AKP's second ranking candidate in Adana) alliance
to endorse the plan to move the airport in Adana to the Tarsus
district of Mersin. The daily wonders how Adana Mayor Aytac
Durak would respond to this new development since he has always
stood firm against past moves to change the location of the
airport.

3. HURRIYET / CUMHURIYET / GUNDEM: Orhan Dogan, former
DEP deputy, had a heart attack on stage as he was delivering a
speech at an art and culture event in Agri's Dogubeyazit
district the previous day. The health condition of Dogan is
severe, he is currently unconscious and doctors said that he had
gone into a cardiological shock because of his late arrival at
the hospital. Dogan's family, former DEP deputies Leyla Zana,
Sirri Sakik, Hatip Dicle and Selim Sadak, Diyarbakir Mayor Osman
Baydemir, some other district mayors and local party chairmen
from DTP have been waiting anxiously at the Van Centennial
University hospital.

4. GUNDEM: The daily alleges that in a sharp contrast
with the rallies of independent candidates held in other
sections of Diyarbakir which attracted large crowds into
squares, the Prime Minister's political rally in Diyarbakir the
previous day did not attract much public attention. Aysel
Tugluk, the independent Diyarbakir candidate running in the
first constituency in Diyarbakir, opened one of her campaign
offices in Baglar district and the ceremony held was reportedly
attended by nearly 10,000 people. Meanwhile, Nazmi Gur's, the
fourth ranking independent candidate in Adana, election campaign
is reportedly at full speed and Gur has been opening his
campaign offices in Denizli, Ova and Onur quarters of the
province. The daily provides reports on other campaign offices
opened by the independent candidates of Tunceli, Mersin,
Hakkari, Sanliurfa and Mardin provinces.

5. GUNDEM: The daily talks with people in Sirnak, a
province located within the area where the Turkish Chief of
Staff declared a "Security Zone," and asks them their political
inclinations. The total number of seats that can be won from
Sirnak is three. It is almost definite, reports the daily, that
two independent candidates endorsed by DTP, namely Sevahir
Bayindir, a female candidate, and Attorney Hasip Kaplan, will
win seats. The daily further reports that AKP's first ranking
candidate, Veli Seyda, is no longer as popular as he used to be
in Sirnak.

6. HURRIYET: A columnist draws attention to the bitter
election competition in Igdir province where a total of 60,000
votes will be divided between two dominant groups in the
province: Azeris and Kurds. Igdir is one of the two provinces
where AKP was not able to win any seats in the last elections.
(The other one was Tunceli.) Therefore, AKP is working hard in
its campaign run in Igdir. The columnist also points out that
the independent candidate in Igdir, Pervin Buldan, who is
endorsed by DTP, is not very welcome in the province, since she
is an outsider who comes from Hakkari. After Erdogan's rally
held in Igdir on June 19, CHP Leader Deniz Baykal will also hold
a rally there on June 3rd. Since votes for MHP in Igdir are
weak, it is not yet definite whether MHP leader will pay a visit
to the province.

7. GUNDEM: The daily observes that Prime Minister Erdogan
toughened his stance against DTP in the days that followed his
meeting with Yasar Buyukanit, the head of the Turkish Chief of
Staff, and he started branding DTP as a "racist party," a phrase
which Buyukanit reportedly formerly used against DTP.

8. EKSPRES / BOLGE: The family of the the oil tanker truck
driver, with whose truck terrorists carried out a suicide bomb
attack at a jandarma station in Tunceli over the weekend (see

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press summary for June 25), were in grief in Adana over the sad
news about how the driver was victimized by the terrorists'
attack, reports the daily. Bolge daily reports that the driver,
as the terrorist forced him to drive towards the jandarma
station, was able to warn the security personnel at the station
through signaling the vehicles lights.

9. GUNDEM: Yusuf Alatas, the chairperson of Human Rights
Association (HRA), resigned from office due to his health
problems. Reyhan Yalcindag, the deputy chairperson, has been
appointed as the new chairperson of the asssociation.

10. GUNDEM: The daily claims that JITEM (Jandarma
Intelligence) members are offering villagers in the southeastern
region 10,000 YTL bounty on the head of the terrorists.

SECURITY

11. GUNDEM: Fire broke out in a section of the Gabar
Mountain in Sirnak allegedly following the military opeartion
Turkish Armed Forces conducted in the area. Three teams of
firefighters have not been able to extinguish the fire yet.


ECONOMY

12. BOLGE: A 5-kilometer truck line has been formed in
front of the Cilvegozu Border Gate with Syria in Hatay because
of efforts undertaken to renovate the border gate facilities.
The construction activities will reportedly end around
September.

CULTURE / SOCIETY / ENVIRONMENT

13. GUNDEM: There has been a heated dispute going on in
Adana's Security Directorate between administration and the
staff over how the administration will spend 400,000 YTL a local
bank branch gave to have the directorate deposit the salaries of
the personnel in their bank. While the administration is opting
for buying new police cars for the office, the staff wants the
money distributed as a bonus to the personnel.

14. GUNDEM: A 17-year-old girl hanged herself and
committed suicide in Siirt's Kurtalan district.

15. YENI SAFAK: The businessmen in Sirnak's Cizre district are
closing their shops between 12.00 and 4 p.m. because of the
intense heat reaching to 50 degree Celsius. (122 degree
Fahrenheit)
GREEN

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